Global energy leader GE and PhotonFirst enter into partnership for development of transformer monitoring solutions

12 September 2022

Asset monitoring & diagnostics expertise of GE’s Grid Solutions matched with PhotonFirst’s innovation leadership in chip based sensing

Lisburn, UK, Alkmaar, The Netherlands, September 12, 2022 – With a signing ceremony on the premises of GE’s Grid Solutions in Lisburn, GE and PhotonFirst announced a strategic technology collaboration. As the energy transition accelerates, reliability and optimization of key grid assets such as power and network transformers are critical, with real-time monitoring increasingly important to create smarter and safer grids.

The PhotonFirst and GE Grid Solutions Monitoring & Diagnostics teams with Graham McGuigan (Product Line Leader at GE) and Leendert-Jan Nijstad (COO at PhotonFirst) in front.

Fiber optical sensing based on integrated photonics offers exciting new opportunities to monitor the performance of transformers in a scalable, low-cost, robust and intelligent way. GE’s Grid Solutions Monitoring & Diagnostics group has selected PhotonFirst as its preferred partner for development and supply of smart transformer monitoring systems. Jointly, the parties have the ambition to develop easy to deploy greenfield and brownfield solutions, fully integrating with GE’s advanced asset monitoring software solutions.

“This is an exciting collaboration as it will further enhance the asset health information customers can obtain, enabling greater reliability, grid stability and financial efficiencies for our customers” said Graham McGuigan, GE’s Grid Solutions Product Line Leader for Monitoring & Diagnostics. “In collaborating with PhotonFirst, our aim is to deliver advanced solutions which enable grid operators to leverage asset condition intelligence for quicker and more informed, operational and planning decisions”.

Alfonso Ambrosone, Senior Product Manager at GE’s Grid Solutions, added “This chip-based technology allows for a scalable, small footprint and relatively low-cost solution, that fits strategically in our product portfolio and matches our customer demands”.

Leendert-Jan Nijstad and Nick Singh, respectively COO and CTO of PhotonFirst, concluded “We are proud to have been selected by GE for this challenging application that fits perfectly on our technology roadmap. Our industry leading applications combine multiple measurands like temperature, pressure, vibration etc. with larger volumes. This one ticks all the boxes and maximizes the unique characteristics of integrated photonics.